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2022 USA Games Experience: Emily Greene

Emily Greene

My name is Emily Greene. I was selected to participate in the 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Fla. to play on the Team MO 3v3 women’s basketball. This was my first time going to the USA Games.

This journey began with Team Missouri Selection Camp in June 2021. It was the first time I had spent that much time away from my family. I was a little nervous, but I did it!  I was able to manage my diabetes with success (with a little help from my coaches).  

After being selected, the year of preparation began. I practiced with my team and participated in team workouts at Team Branch. We had other team workouts that I went to, and I kept track of my steps with the SOMO app and my fitbit (I met that goal). I completed the 10 minute workout Coach Black gave us, and I did the ball handling Coach Katie asked us to do. My parents were proud of me because I did my workouts without reminders from them!  

It was finally time to go to Florida! The trip began with a fire truck, ambulance and police escort out of Warrenton! There were people waving to us along the road. Seeing all of those people waving to made me feel like they were supporting us, and it made me cry.

Three team members from Warrenton went to the sendoff in Jefferson City. It was a great celebration. We rode the trolley to our hotel where we spent the night.

Saturday morning, two police officers on motorcycles and one police car escorted us out of town. We drove to Columbia where we took a private jet ride to Orlando! I was nervous to fly without my parents, but I did it! The jet was amazing!

When we arrived in Orlando, people were cheering for us! It made me feel special!

The hotel room at Disney was fun! I roomed with one of my SOMO sisters!

The Opening Ceremonies were amazing! My favorite part was the fly-over.

On Monday, we played two preliminary games. We lost to Florida by one basket, and we lost to Minnesota by three baskets. Instead of getting down, we listened to our coach who told us she was proud of us for doing our best. She told us what we did well and what we needed to work on.

On Tuesday, we played two more preliminary games. We lost to Texas 20-2. One of my teammates later recalled that Texas was over six-foot tall! They were undefeated and were crazy good! We lost to Ohio 20-6. We learned we needed to work together and communicate.  

On Wednesday, we played our two final games. We beat Maryland and then we beat Minnesota! We won the GOLD! I was literally jumping up and down like a little kid! My team worked together and communicated.

In between our games, coach made certain we completed all the stations at Healthy Athletes. I earned a water bottle, t-shirt and a certificate for completing the Steps Challenge. I was pretty proud of myself. I got an electric toothbrush and a pair of shoes! 

On Thursday, we visited Animal Kingdom, and our families joined us! After we ate dinner, coach asked who was ready to leave and who wanted to stay. Myself and one other team member wanted to stay! We agreed our training paid off, and we had the energy to stay. Coach Rachel stayed with us, and I rode the dinosaur ride with her. It was a little scary, but I did it!

On Friday, we had our Medal Ceremony. Having the police officer put the GOLD medal around my neck made me feel so proud! I just kept smiling and waving! I wanted to cry, but I just kept smiling and waving! It was like my whole body was waving. 

On Saturday, we went to Magic Kingdom. We rode a few rides, ate some lunch and bought souvenirs. It was a good day!

On Sunday, we headed home. I was able to ride the private jet back to Columbia.  It was another amazing ride! When we got off the plane, there were people cheering for us! We had our picture taken with our medals and ribbons. I was so happy to see my dad! He gave me a big hug and told me he was really proud of me! We cheered as the other jets arrived. On the way home, my parents took me out to eat. I was tired, but I couldn’t stop talking about everything I had done. It was an amazing experience. I would do it again!